Windows 10’s data collection has received a lot of criticism. But at least Microsoft is open on the subject and offers its customers plenty of options to protect privacy. However, that is not enough. Because Windows 10 speaks the Internet despite all data protection settings.
The technology magazine “Ars Technica“investigated what data the computer leaves behind with Windows 10 without the user’s knowledge. To do this, the editors of the US magazine placed a second PC between the Internet modem and their test device with Windows 10. In this way, they were able to intercept all data streams .
The result: although everyone Privacy settings enabled and all live services were turned off, Windows 10 went on the air. Some of the data sent is harmless, others are superfluous, judges “Ars Technica”; another is questionable, another is completely confusing.
Windows 10 secretly transmits
The harmless “radio messages” include connection requests to the internet addresses www.msftncsi.com/ncsi.txt and ipv6.msftncsi.com/ncsi.txt. Windows uses these text file requests to determine whether or not the PC is connected to the Internet on a network. No machine ID or sensitive data is sent.
Unencrypted connections to Microsoft’s MSN network are also harmless but unnecessary. Windows 10 uses this network to get new information for the live tiles in the Start menu – for example, the Messages app. However, in the test, all apps of this type were disabled. According to the tester, there is no understandable reason for the regular data queries.
Data collection despite contradiction
The connections from Windows 10 to the internet server ssw.live.com are quite worrying. The server is of course related to Microsoft’s online storage OneDrive, the Windows Store, the voice assistant Cortana and other cloud services. Neither was on the test computer, however a Microsoft account another one of these services is activated by the user. Despite this, Windows secretly sent data to the cloud.
Apparently it was telemetry data – measured values of system performance and stability. “Ars Technica” had explicitly disabled the collection of this data.
Switching off is not immediately switching off
The testers looked at a stream of data to a Content Delivery Network (CDN) at a loss. These are networks designed for transferring large amounts of data – for example, the free update to Windows 10. At the request of “Ars Technica”, Microsoft explained that functional updates for the “Bing” search function are occasionally integrated into the start menu . Search “appears. Neither searches nor other user data would be recorded.
The testers were able to confirm this, but the data flow remains a mystery. After all, they had deactivated both the Bing search and Cortana. A unique machine ID was also sent in this way.
If you activate all settings to protect your privacy in Windows 10, you can do that So contains only data collectionbut don’t completely prevent it. In addition, the type of data sent could not be traced in detail. Microsoft should not gain more confidence this way.
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